John McGrath was elected into the Western Australian Legislative Assembly as the Member for South Perth on 26 February 2005 and re-elected in the 2008, 2013 and 2017 election.
John was born in Fremantle and was educated at Hamilton Hill Primary School and John Curtin Senior High School. He is married with two children and lives locally in the electorate of South Perth.
Prior to entering parliament, John was a senior journalist at West Australian Newspapers. During his career at “The West” he was a Senior Journalist, Sports Editor, Racing Editor and Chief Football Writer and covered major sporting events including the Olympic Games in Barcelona and Sydney and the Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Having a passion for horse racing and football, John covered the Melbourne Cup for 15 years and the AFL Grand Finals for 13years. He has also worked for a number of years covering major golf and tennis tournaments. During his career as a journalist, John won numerous awards including Australian Racing Writer of the Year 1986; WA Racing Writer of the Year 1988, 1989; WA Football Best News Story 1993 and the Alan Newman Award for Football Writing AFL in 2003 and 2004.
Since his election to Parliament in 2005, John has not only had the opportunity of representing South Perth but has also held Shadow Portfolios in the areas of Racing, Gaming and Liquor Licensing; Seniors; Road Safety and Housing and Works. John has been the Government Whip and has served on the Economics and Industry Standing Committee. He has also been Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on the Review of the Racing and Wagering Western Australia Acts.
Before the change of Government in March 2017 he was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier with responsibility over the Perth Stadium project. Following the 2017 state election, John was appointed by Opposition Leader Dr Mike Nahan MLA as the Shadow Minister for Racing and Gaming; Sport and Recreation.
When John entered Parliament he said, “My political ideology is quite simple. I believe that politics should never get in the way of an initiative that will benefit the state or my electorate of South Perth.” John truly believes in this and has worked tirelessly to secure the wonderful lifestyle and environment that the people of South Perth enjoy.
As a local living in Como, John understands the enormous sense of community that exists in the electorate of South Perth. Since his election, he has fought for and secured funding for many important community projects. He continues to work hard for the development of his electorate into the future with a particular focus on the need for a Manning Road On-Ramp to the Kwinana Freeway, re-instatement of the Coode Street Ferry Service, development of the Canning Bridge precinct to ensure better access to the Canning Bridge Train Station and the provision of a South Perth train station.
John is also passionate about protecting the Swan and Canning Rivers which border two thirds of the electorate of South Perth. Having travelled extensively to major cities in other parts of the world John understands the need for an efficient and accessible public transport system. In particular, John would like to see greater use made of the Swan River for public transport with a fast River Cat service connecting to the city.
John is on the board of the South Perth Hospital. The hospital prides itself on providing a modern health facility where caring and dedicated staff can provide excellent services.